The last time the New England Patriots clashed against the Kansas City Chiefs, odds enthusiasts got treated to a thrilling 41-14 win by the Chiefs, which handily paid bettors on the OVER total betting lines. That, however, was back in 2014 when Kansas City’s star RB Jamaal Charles was healthy and QB Alex Smith could throw three TDs on any given weekend. Now, Charles is out with a season-ending injury and multiple-TD games don’t come easy for Smith. But to make up for all that, the Chiefs have a mean defense catalyzed by a wicked pass rush unit that melts down even the best of opposing quarterbacks.
On the opposite camp, New England’s Tom Brady (who recovered from last season’s horrid performance against the Chiefs to eventually lead the Pats to a Super Bowl title along with an MVP title for himself) is still finding ways to make plays this season, in spite of working with a unit that has been bleeding of injuries. In fact, thanks to his NFL-best 36 regular season TDs, his Patriots finished the season ranked among the best offensive teams in the nation.
So what does all that mean for a game that has the total set at 42? Should we expect a high-scoring OVER affair in the totals on the basis of the solid Brady-led offense, or will Kansas City’s surging defense drag down the scores for an UNDER? Here’s you brief guide on how to wager on this game’s total NFL betting lines.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 12, 2016
Why the Total will Stay UNDER 42
After finishing the regular season ranked third-best in the NFL in points allowed per game (17.9), the Chief went a notch higher with their stellar D and condemned the home-playing Houston Texans to a humiliating 30-0 on Saturday. That game marked the ninth time in their 11-game winning streak that the Chiefs allowed 17-or-less points. The remaining two occasions they allowed more than 17 points were the 30-22 home win vs. Buffalo and 34-20 road win over the Raiders, underlining just how good the Chiefs defense has been. Against the Patriots that lost their two top running backs to season-ending injuries, and have their top receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman also banged up, plus an offensive line that has injury problems and has struggled in protecting Brady over the recent times; another solid defensive performance could easily be in the books for the hard-nosed Chiefs.
And as you already know, the Chiefs haven’t been lighting up the scoreboard lately, a key reason four of the last five Kansas City games have ended in UNDER totals, including the last three in a row. With New England’s defense also having some good-enough pieces that can make a couple of solid plays, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Kansas City also ended with 25 or fewer points. When you add up all that, you find a game that has a high likelihood of begetting a low-scoring UNDER 42 points affair. After all, the total has gone UNDER in 4 of New England’s last 5 overall games when playing Kansas City.
Why the Total will Go OVER 42
Despite their recent struggles with winning games, the Patriots have still been finding ways of putting up decent points on the scoreboard, as was glimpsed earlier by Brady’s league-leading touchdown haul. In essence, that’s the reason the Pats finished the season ranked among the top teams in the league in points scored per game, with the total going OVER in 4 of New England’s last 6 games. Not to forget, the Pats failed to score 20-or-more points in just one of their games this season, and that was in the pretty much “meaningless” game the Patriots intentionally lost to the Dolphins in Week 17, as Coach Bill Belichick rested most of his starters.
If star TE Rob Gronkowski (who led the Patriots aerial game with 16.3 yards per catch, 1,176 total receiving yards and 11 touchdowns this season) and his fellow receivers can find a way of outsmarting Kansas City’s solid passing defenses that is ranked ninth in the league, then a strong offensive performance can be expected this Saturday. And it that won’t be able to push up the scores, then Kansas City’s offense that is coming off a 30-point performance against Houston’s stingy defense should be able to chip in handily. FYI, the total has gone OVER in 4 of New England’s last 6 home games against Kansas City.
Final Remarks and Betting Odds Prediction
The outlook of things here, particularly New England’s banged up offense and Kansas City’s solid defense and average offense sets up a high possibility for a low-scoring game. That said, Kansas City is averaging 23.33 PPG scoring in its last three games while New England is averaging 21.00 PPG scoring over the same duration, so both teams should at least be good for at least 20 points apiece this weekend. Add the intensity of the playoffs into the mix and the good weather forecasted for Saturday at the Gillette Stadium, we get a strong chance of both teams going above the 42-point mark, something we believe is worthy of your wagers in the total lines.
My Total Betting Pick: OVER 42